1918 – July 1

Returned from Enzeli. The down journey was quite uneventful and the country looked very different to what it did in the winter. No shots were fired either out or on the return journey, though several battles took place on the road in between while.

Stayed the night at Menzil – next day passed through Resht and down to Enzeli. It was nice to see the sea again – lived in the same quarters as before. Next day sea-bathing on nice sandy beach and the Caspian was delightful. Long final interview with General Bicherakov and final settlement of plans in South and North Caucasus. Then long interview with Cheliapin the leader of the Revolutionary Committee who wanted to arrest me in Feb., and was responsible for my not reaching Baku – he is very stupid and not more amenable now than he was then. One can deal with anything except blank ignorance. Finally he said: “I cannot continue to talk with one who subjects himself to the domination of a King and a Crown!” Left Enzeli same afternoon, arrived Resht for dinner. Stayed next day interviewing new Governor, Sirdar-i-Kul*, pro-Turk and pro-German, but now pro-me (temporarily), arranged a great function for rehoisting of British flag. All consuls present – troops armoured cars, Persian official. I made speech, flag hoisted. Persian police marched past and saluted flag. Persian Commandant made apology.

Good fight at Iman-Zadeh-Hashem, on the road outside the town – Gurkhas captured and burnt a village and killed many of the enemy. Two officers took two Polish women out for a drive in motor-car – silly asses. Drove straight into the enemy. One officer 2 women killed, car captured. One officer escaped and now to be tried by Court-Martial.

* I cannot find anything out about this person but Sirdar-i-Kul means ‘chief or commander of all’, so it is likely to be an honorific rather than an actual name.

1915 – January 2

In my bedroom here I find this red ink and nothing else. Packed up and left Havre on the last day of the old year and came up with the Prince de Mahé who also motored me out to lunch with a very nice French family Offroy, about 15 miles from here – a tremendous repast. I have taken rooms for the time being in the Hotel de France, Rue Grand Pont [possibly Rouen], nice and old fashioned and good, but I do not like hotel life. When I was here as a boy I lived in the Elmering family. Adolphe about 50, Isabelle, Marie and Berthe, 3 sisters a little younger. They would now be from 70 to 75 I suppose. I see their name is still in the book, so I am going to call. I expect they have not forgotten me as I wrote to them for at least 12 years. I was sorry to leave the family Hollaender at Havre, but the life was frowsy and I did not like the idea of fleas in my bed, though they do not bite me. I already feel better for the change. Later on I am going to try and get rooms here. I see poor Rome of the 20th has been killed – just married in June. And Rundall of the 4th Gurkhas [also see here], has lost his two sons on one day. Daisie has got work in French hospital No. 12*, at Havre under Mrs. Gardner and is due out the day after to-morrow, it will be nice to know she is within reach.

 

* According to this website, no 12 hospital was in Rouen, rather than Le Havre. I have been unable to establish any more details.